The Broncho Rider Boys with Funston at Vera Cruz - Or, Upholding the Honor of the Stars and Stripes
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The Broncho Rider Boys with Funston at Vera Cruz - Or, Upholding the Honor of the Stars and Stripes

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Broncho Rider Boys with Funston at Vera Cruz, by Frank Fowler This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Broncho Rider Boys with Funston at Vera Cruz Or, Upholding the Honor of the Stars and Stripes Author: Frank Fowler Release Date: October 14, 2006 [EBook #19538] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS WITH *** Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Suzan Flanagan and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net "THIS IS NO PLACE FOR ME," COMMENTED BILLIE AS HE KEPT HIMSELF WELL HIDDEN BEHIND A GIANT CACTUS. The Broncho Rider Boys with Funston at Vera Cruz. Page 33. [Pg 1]The Broncho Rider Boys With Funston at Vera Cruz OR Upholding the Honor of the Stars and Stripes By FRANK FOWLER AUTHOR OF "The Broncho Rider Boys with the Texas Rangers," "The Broncho Rider Boys at Keystone Ranch," "The Broncho Rider Boys Down in Arizona," "The Broncho Rider Boys Along the Border," "The Broncho Rider Boys on the Wyoming Trail." A. L. BURT COMPANY NEW YORK. [Pg 2]Copyright, 1916 By A. L. Burt Company THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS WITH FUNSTON AT VERA CRUZ Table of Contents CHAPTER I. CHAPTER XII. CHAPTER XXII. CHAPTER II. CHAPTER XIII.

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Broncho Rider Boys with Funston at Vera
Cruz, by Frank Fowler
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Broncho Rider Boys with Funston at Vera Cruz
Or, Upholding the Honor of the Stars and Stripes
Author: Frank Fowler
Release Date: October 14, 2006 [EBook #19538]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS WITH ***
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Suzan Flanagan and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net"THIS IS NO PLACE FOR ME,"
COMMENTED BILLIE AS HE KEPT
HIMSELF WELL HIDDEN BEHIND A
GIANT CACTUS.
The Broncho Rider Boys with
Funston at Vera Cruz. Page 33.
[Pg 1]The Broncho Rider Boys
With Funston at Vera Cruz
OR
Upholding the Honor of the Stars and Stripes
By FRANK FOWLER
AUTHOR OF
"The Broncho Rider Boys with the Texas Rangers," "The Broncho
Rider Boys at Keystone Ranch," "The Broncho Rider
Boys Down in Arizona," "The Broncho Rider Boys
Along the Border," "The Broncho Rider
Boys on the Wyoming Trail."A. L. BURT COMPANY
NEW YORK.
[Pg 2]Copyright, 1916
By A. L. Burt Company
THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS WITH FUNSTON AT VERA CRUZ
Table of Contents
CHAPTER I. CHAPTER XII. CHAPTER XXII.
CHAPTER II. CHAPTER XIII. CHAPTER XXIII.
CHAPTER III. CHAPTER XIV. CHAPTER XXIV.
CHAPTER IV. CHAPTER XV. CHAPTER XXV.
CHAPTER V. CHAPTER XVI. CHAPTER XXVI.
CHAPTER VI. CHAPTER XVII. CHAPTER XXVII.
CHAPTER VII. CHAPTER XVIII. CHAPTER XXVIII.
CHAPTER VIII. CHAPTER XIX. CHAPTER XXIX.
CHAPTER IX. CHAPTER XX. CHAPTER XXX.
CHAPTER X. CHAPTER XXI. CHAPTER XXXI.
CHAPTER XI.
[Pg 3]
THE BRONCHO RIDER BOYS WITH
FUNSTON AT VERA CRUZ.CHAPTER I.
A DARING ADVENTURE.
"Let me look, Billie," and Donald reached out his hand for the field glass
through which Broncho Billie was gazing down from the summit of Real del
Monte upon the plain of Quesco, through which the Pachuca river winds its
way. "Maybe I can make out who they are."
Billie handed over the glass without a word and stood expectant, while Donald
scrutinized closely a body of horsemen—twenty or more in number—which had
halted beside the railroad that connects the little city of Pachuca with the City of
Mexico.
"They are not soldiers, that's certain," was Donald's comment after he had
inspected the riders carefully for a couple of minutes.
"That's what I thought," from Billie. "They look like a bunch of vaqueros to me;
but what would a crowd of fifty cowpunchers be doing in a country where the
only cattle are goats?"
[Pg 4]"That's right!" laughed Donald, greatly amused at Billie's odd expression, "but
still that is what they appear to be. Perhaps they are expecting a drove of cattle
up on the train."
"More likely they are expecting a load of bullion going down to the City of
Mexico," remarked the third of the party. "What do you think, Pedro?" turning to
the fourth of the boys who composed the quartette.
"I am afraid you are right, Adrian," replied Pedro, with an accent which denoted
that of the four he was the only one who was not of an English-speaking race.
"You don't think they would hold up a train in broad daylight, and that not more
than five miles from town, do you?" queried Billie.
"If they are what I suspect," declared Pedro, "I think they would hold it up at the
station, if there were only a few more of them."
"And what do you think they are?"
"I think they are Zapatistas."
"What are they?" asked Donald.
"Followers of the bandit leader, Emilio Zapata."
"Which side does he belong to?" asked Adrian. "Huerta or Carranza?"
"Neither. He is simply a bandit, and his followers prey upon any whom they find
unprotected."
"And do you really think they are going to hold up and rob the train from
Pachuca?"
"Sin duda!" meaning without doubt.
[Pg 5]"Then we must prevent them," declared Donald emphatically.
"What business is it of ours?" asked Billie. "If one bunch of Mexicans wants to
rob another bunch, especially if the second bunch are Huertistas, I don't know
that it is for us to interfere. I'm not looking for trouble.""You're not afraid, are you? If——"
"Say, Don," interrupted Billie, "what's the use of always asking such foolish
questions? If I remember rightly, the last time you asked me that question was
up on the Rio Grande a year ago, about the time that I was swimming rivers and
breaking into prisons with the Texas Rangers to get you and Ad out of trouble.
Now why——"
Donald held up both hands.
"That's enough, Billie," he laughed. "I'll take it all back. Of course you're not
afraid. But I insist we must prevent this hold-up."
"And again I ask, why?"
"Because there may be women and children on the train and——"
"That's enough," exclaimed Billie. "You needn't go on with the rest. But what's
the plan? We're a good ten miles from those chaps—unless we had an airship."
"And then how far do you think it is?" queried Adrian.
"Well," replied Billie slowly, as he squinted up one eye, "I should say they are
[Pg 6]about four miles away as the crow flies. But we are not crows. By the Real road,
it is at least ten miles."
"There must be a short cut somewhere," insisted Donald.
"There is," explained Pedro. "Just around the next turn in the road there is a
goat path that leads down to the river. If you are not afraid of getting wet——"
"There you go," laughed Billie. "Afraid of getting wet! Just let's settle it once for
all that we are not afraid of anything that it is right for us to do."
Pedro laughed good-naturedly.
"Well, then, since we are not afraid of getting wet, we can follow the river for
about two miles by fording it several times, and emerge on the plain a mile this
side of the clump of trees which hides those fellows from the highway."
"And then what?" from Billie.
"That is as far as I've gone."
"Then you'll have to do better. Just as soon as we emerge from behind those
trees, we'll be a fair target. Four against twenty is 'most too much on an open
plain."
For several minutes no one spoke. It was Adrian who broke the silence.
"I think I see a way, not only to save the train, but possibly to capture the
bandits."
The boys looked up in surprise.
[Pg 7]"Do you notice how the railroad curves in toward the hills just after it crosses
the river bridge?" he continued, pointing out the place he meant.
"Sure, we see it," from Billie.
"Well, when we leave the river, instead of riding toward that bunch of trees,
we'll ride the other way. That will bring us to the railroad track near the curve.
Then we'll ride up the track. If we do not reach the station before the train
leaves, we can flag it. There is sure to be at least half a dozen guards aboard.We will make ten. Most of the men aboard will have revolvers. The result will be
that instead of the bandits taking the train by surprise, we will take them by
surprise, and——"
"And the army that takes the other by surprise wins," finished Billie, taking off
his sombrero and bowing to Adrian in mock gravity. Then to Pedro, "Let the
scout lead the way and the army will fall in behind, with the general at the
head."
A laugh followed Billie's words, and putting spurs to their horses, the four lads
dashed down the mountain road upon their self-appointed mission, which was
by no means the first daring adventure in which they had engaged; for the
stories of the doings of the three American lads in the quartette have furnished
interesting reading for thousands of American boys.
It is because of their numerous adventures and their skill as horsemen that the
trio has become known as the Broncho Rider Boys. Their names are Donald
[Pg 8]Mackay, Adrian Sherwood and William Stonewall Jackson Winkle, better
known as "Broncho Billie." This latter name was given him some two years
before when he went to visit his cousin Donald at the latter's home on the
Keystone Ranch in Wyoming. It was not given him because he was such an
expert rider, but because he could fall from his broncho pony easier than any
boy in that section. Rotund in appearance, he was as jolly as he was fat, and
his chief failing was his appetite. No matter what the hour, no one ever
mentioned eats that Billie was not hungry.
When he first came West he was supposed to be in poor health. It speedily
developed that such was not the case. He was simply hungry. Months in the
open air had enabled him to eat without fear and he was now about the most
robust specimen of boy that any one ever saw.
Donald, the oldest of the trio, was one of those level-headed chaps who had a
knack of doing the right thing at the right time. His judgment had been proven
good in many a tight place and under many thrilling conditions. As a result, he
was generally looked up to as a leader by the others, although it must be
admitted that Adrian was also a lad of sense and plenty of nerve.
Adrian was the owner of a large Wyoming ranch, and one of the books which
has proved most interesting to American boys is known as The Broncho Rider
[Pg 9]Boys on the Wyoming Trail, a story of how Adrian saved his property from
being taken away from him by a dishonest uncle.
About a year previous to the time this story opens, these three boys had been
on a trip along the Rio Grande, when they fell in with Capt. June Peak and a
company of Texas Rangers, who had been detailed to keep watch of the
actions of a band of cattle smugglers. Sent across the river into Mexican
territory on a secret mission, the Broncho Rider Boys had the good fortune to
rescue Pedro Sanchez, the fourth member of the quartette, from the hands of a
band of ruffians. Pedro turned out to be the son of Gen. Sanchez of the Mexican
army, who was visiting an uncle in northern Mexico. After a series of thrilling
adventures, which are told in full in The Broncho Rider Boys with the Texas
Rangers, Donald, Adrian and Billie returned to their homes, promising to visit
Pedro in the City of Mexico whenever the time was ripe.
During the time that the boys were scouting in Mexico they had learned to
speak Spanish quite well, and this knowledge had been so improved during
their visit with Pedro that they now spoke the language well, an
accomplishment which proved of much value to them later on.About a month prior to the day upon which this story opens, the three
Americans had met by appointment at New York City and had come to Vera
Cruz by boat and thence to the City of Mexico, where they found everything in a
[Pg 10]greatly disturbed condition because of the revolution which had been started
some months previous by Gen. Carranza.
It might be well right here to state briefly the history of the previous few months
in Mexico, so that all may understand how it happened that none of the four
boys had a very high opinion of Gen. Huerta, at that time dictator of Mexico.
For nearly 35 years, up to 1911, Mexico had a peaceful existence under a
republican form of government. During the last 32 years of that time Porfirio
Diaz was president. Just prior to 1912 a revolution was begun against what had
come to be called the Diaz government, and Diaz was compelled to flee from
Mexico. The revolution was headed by Francisco Madero, who was then made
president.
In February of 1913 a revolution was started against President Madero by Felix
Diaz, nephew of Porfirio Diaz, and the City of Mexico was attacked. At that time
Gen. Huerta was in command of Madero's forces in the City of Mexico. He
proved a traitor to Madero, went over to Diaz, arrested Madero and confined
him in prison. Two days later, April 22, 1913, President Madero was shot by
order of Huerta, who then declared himself dictator. At the same time he asked
that the other nations of the earth recognize him as the head of the Mexican
government, a thing which the government of the United States refused to do.
[Pg 11]March 26, 1913, another revolution was started, this time against Gen. Huerta
by Gen. Carranza, governor of the state of Chihuahua. This revolution had
been in progress more than a year when this story opens.
Pedro's father, Gen. Sanchez, had been a friend of President Madero. When
Madero was shot, Gen. Sanchez fled to Pachuca where he had a large
hacienda and also owned vast interests in the silver mines at Real del Monte,
some six miles up the mountains. Later, however, he was promised protection
by Gen. Huerta, who was anxious to have the friendship of such a prominent
man, and returned to the City of Mexico. It was some time after this, about
March 1, 1914—when matters had quieted down in the City of Mexico—that the
three American boys went to visit Pedro.
A few days previous to the one on which we find the four boys headed for the
railroad to foil the would-be train robbers, they had come to Pachuca, which is
located some sixty miles from the City of Mexico, on horses furnished them by
Gen. Sanchez, to see the mines and the beautiful mountains overlooking the
plains of Quesco. Every day they took long rides in various directions, in spite
of the unsettled condition of the country—a condition which compelled them
always to go armed with their trusty Marlins and Colts—and that is how they
happened to be on the Real road at such an opportune time.
[Pg 12]With these explanations, it is no wonder that the boys were keen for the
adventure upon which they were now embarked.
A sharp ride of fifteen minutes brought them to the river and into it the horses
plunged. At places it was only knee deep and at other places where they were
obliged to cross it was necessary for the horses to swim; but this was only fun
for the Broncho Rider Boys.
Half an hour after sighting the bandits, the boys halted on the railroad track,
well secreted from their quarry by the curve before mentioned.
"And none too soon," declared Donald as the sharp whistle of the engine washeard perhaps half a mile away.
"How shall we flag her?" asked Pedro.
"With that red bandana handkerchief on Billie's neck," replied Donald as he
reached over and snatched the neckwear from its place.
Springing from his horse, he ran up the track waving the red signal as he ran.
A sharp blast from the whistle a couple of minutes later gave proof that the
danger signal had been seen, and the grinding of the brakes told that the train
was coming to a stop. Even before this was an accomplished fact the conductor
swung himself from the front car and came running down the track to see what
was the matter, while the guards covered the boys with their carbines.
"What do you mean by stopping the train?" he demanded angrily.
[Pg 13]Donald explained in as few words as possible.
The conductor signalled the guards to him and told them what Donald had said.
"What had we better do?" asked the conductor.
"We had better go back to Pachuca for help," replied the guards.
"And let the Zapatistas escape!" exclaimed Billie hotly. "What do you want to
do that for?"
"We have only six guards," the conductor explained, "and——"
"And that, with us, makes ten," interrupted Billie.
The conductor regarded the boy with surprise.
"Do you mean you will join us to help capture the bandits?"
"What do you think we're here for?" asked Billie.
"Yes," chimed in Adrian. "What do you suppose we stopped the train for?"
"But even ten are no match for twenty or more," declared the guard.
"Of course they are," said Donald, "if the twenty are taken by surprise."
"Which they will not be if we don't act pretty quick," insisted Billie. "Come on!
Let's go after them," and he climbed up onto the car.
"That's what I say," said Pedro, following Billie's example.
Without more words the others followed and the conductor gave the signal to
go ahead.
[Pg 14]"How about the horses?" asked Donald, turning to Pedro.
"They'll be all right; but if we capture the Zapatistas we'll have horses enough
any way."
"And if we don't," remarked Billie grimly, "there'll be some riderless horses any
way."
"Let us hope that they will not be the ones we have left behind," said Donald
gravely.CHAPTER II.
A STRANGE MIX-UP.
While the train was gathering headway the conductor and the guards rounded
up all the men they could find on the train who were armed. There were more
than a dozen, so that in point of numbers, the force on the train nearly equalled
the Zapatistas. These were so stationed at the windows that they could give the
would-be robbers a warm reception.
"We must use some strategy," declared Adrian, "or we will simply succeed in
killing a few and scaring away the others. That will not be a very brilliant deed."
"No," from Donald, "but it will save the bullion. What's your plan?"
"Well, I was thinking it would be a good plan to separate the train."
[Pg 15]"How?"
"You can see it is all down grade from here to where the bandits are waiting for
us."
"Yes."
"As soon as we get to running a good speed, Billie and I will go into the
express car with the three guards. You and Pedro stay here with the other
guards and the passengers. As we near the bandits, uncouple the train, put on
the brakes and stop the coaches. We will rush by with the engine and express
car, firing as we go——"
"Which will be all right," interrupted Billie, "if they don't ditch the engine."
Adrian's face fell.
"I hadn't thought of that."
"Well, you'd better."
After a moment Adrian's face brightened.
"They might better ditch the engine and express car than the whole train," he
declared.
"Right you are," from Donald. "If you and Billie are game enough to try it, I say it
is the proper thing. If they ditch the engine, we will be back a ways and can run
down to your assistance. If they don't ditch you, we will have them between two
fires."
"Just what I thought," replied Adrian. "How about it, Billie?"
"I'm game. My head may be a little thick, but I can see just as far through a two-
inch plank as the next one."
[Pg 16]"All right, then. Come on," and Adrian led the way into the car ahead, while
Donald and Pedro stood by to uncouple as soon as they passed the clump of
trees before alluded to.
Almost at the same instant several sharp blasts from the whistle gave the
danger signal, and Donald threw over the coupling lever and put on the brake.
The coaches slowed quickly down, but the engine and express car dashed in
between the horsemen stationed on either side of the track.Prepared for what they knew was coming, the engineer and fireman had thrown
themselves down on the floor of the cab, while Adrian, Billie and the three
guards poured a volley into the robbers as they passed and several horses lost
their mounts.
This fire was followed by a fusillade from the horsemen and a minute later the
engine, striking an unspiked rail, rolled completely over into the ditch,
wrenching itself clear from the express car, which, after bumping over the ties
for several seconds, suddenly ceased its antics and glided smoothly along.
As by a miracle it had run completely over the space from which the rail had
been loosed and landed upon the good track, down which it now sped.
So unexpected was the change from ties to track that Adrian and Billie were
unable for a few moments to understand what had happened. Then Billie
rushed to the door and seized the hand brake.
[Pg 17]"Grab hold and help stop this car," he yelled to Adrian, "or there is no knowing
where we'll land."
Adrian hastened to obey, but the wrench that had been given the car when the
engine broke loose had put the brake out of commission and the car sped on.
The three Mexican guards now appeared on the platform and gazed wildly up
the track where they could see the fight going on between the bandits and their
companions.
"What shall we do, Señor?" asked one of them.
"Search me," from Billie. "How long is this grade?"
"It is down hill all the way to Pitahaya."
"How far is that?"
"Ten kilometers from Pachuca."
"That must be about three miles farther," said Adrian.
"Correct," from Billie, "but unless it's a mighty steep up-grade the other side of
Pita-what's-its-name, we're going so fast we'll not stop till we've run away past
it."
"Well, what of it? We can coast back, can't we?"
The car gave a lurch to one side that almost threw the boys off the platform.
"We're certainly going some," called Adrian. "Hang on!"
And hang on they did until they dashed past the little station of Pitahaya and
after several minutes began to slow down.
[Pg 18]"This is a little better," Adrian finally remarked as the car showed some sign of
coming to a stop.
"Yes, indeed," from Billie. "I suppose we'll come to a dead stop soon. Do you
think she'll start back on her own hook, or shall we have to start her?"
"We'll soon see," and see they did, for a couple of minutes later the car came to
a stop.
For some minutes the five occupants of the car waited to see if it would start
back down the grade. When it did not they got off to decide what could be done.